Participants in the Homelessness Action Week’s Sleep Outside Challenge at the Courtyard Cafe in Qualicum Beach the following morning

Sleep outside challenge brings awareness to homelessness issues in Parksville Qualicum Beach

About 25 people took part in the challenge on Wednesday night

About 25 people took part in the Sleep Outside Challenge and around 70 attended the Project Connect Health Fair as part of Homelessness Action Week in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area last week.

Oceanside Task Force On Homelessness coordinator Sarah Poole organized the events and said she was impressed with the turnout and felt like they were successful in raising awareness and helping a lot of people directly.

Representatives of both Parksville and Qualicum Beach councils, task force members and other dignitaries and volunteers slept outside last week in both communities to get a better sense of what people some people in the area go through on a regular basis.

“People were amazed how little sleep they got when they were cold and insecure through the night,” Poole said.

The following day around 20 service providers from dental hygienists and optometrists to photographers and hair dressers donated their efforts to the 60 or 70 people who stopped at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

Poole said the neatest part was to see how co-operative the clients where, going out of their way to only take what they really needed, often resisting offers to make sure other people in line got something.

For more information or to contribute to the task force, contact Poole through the SOS at 250-248-2093 ext. 234.

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